2014 MERCEDES-BENZ C-CLASS PRICED FOR MZANSI, LAUNCHES IN JUNE

Yesterday I got a chance to look at, face to face, and sit inside the all-new Mercedes-Benz C-Class (codenamed W205). I must admit, the car looks quite excellent in the metal. Better than in pictures. As such, I reckon the BMW 3 Series has its work cut out if it’s going to fend off such apparently strong competition.

Mercedes-Benz C250, AMG Line, Avantgarde, Diamantsilber metallic

While the car I inspected briefly at the Bedfordview Mercedes-Benz dealership is an early production prototype, the overwhelming majority of it looked and felt solid. There were of course one or two build quality issues, but I’m sure they will be sorted out by the time the cars go on sale in June. One of the ever-growing necessities in cars is a two-pin 240V plug very much like the one used in homes. Well you can get one in this C.

Mercedes-Benz C250, AMG Line, Avantgarde, Diamantsilber metallic

As you probably know by now, the C-Class will be built at the company’s East London, Eastern Cape plant where about 85% of production output is exported outside of Mzansi. In fact, from 2015 when the plant is running at full capacity, the eMonti outfit will be the biggest producer of C-Class anywhere in the world, including Germany.

Mercedes-Benz C250, AMG Line, Avantgarde, Diamantsilber metallic

I mentioned earlier that the 3 Series had better watch its boot. Well there’s good reason for that. Current-generation C-Class averaged 1 000 units a month in sales over a 7 year period. That consistently put it among the top 10 best-selling passenger cars in Mzansi for over 72 months.

Mercedes-Benz C 250 BlueTEC, Avantgarde, Diamantweiss metallic,

The car will feature many of the gizmos and gadgets found in the new S-Class, like some of the self-driving systems, Bluetooth connectivity, Collision Prevention Assist, a new Comand infotainment system with handwriting recognition, reversing camera (R4 800), panoramic sunroof (R16 900) and a trick suspension among many others. It is quite a lightweight since about 50% of the bodywork is made from aluminium.

Mercedes-Benz C 250 BlueTEC, Avantgarde, Diamantweiss metallic,

As for the models, we’ll first see the C180, C200 and C220 Bluetec at launch. Interestingly all three will come with a standard 6-speed manual gearbox. The 7-speed automatic can be specified at R18 000. C180 at entry will cost R415 900 at the till. For that you get a 1.6-litre turbo engine worth 115kW and 250Nm of torque. The R436 600 C200 has a 2.0-litre turbo making 135kW and 300Nm. Lastly we have a C200 Bluetec featuring Merc’s frugal 2.1-litre turbo diesel with 125kW and 400Nm. That one will set you back R459 000 without the options. Next year we’ll see the blazing C 63 AMG with a new 4.0-litre V8 twin turbo making at least 340kW.

2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class interior 1

These four trim lines are available, each with its own distinctive look: Standard, Exclusive, Avantgarde and AMG Lines. C-Class will be fitted with 17-inch wheels standard, or 18-inches depending on options chosen.

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